rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Can Manchester United win all matches to reach Europe?

Can Manchester United win all matches to reach Europe?

February 04, 2014 08:57 IST

Can Manchester United win all matches to reach Europe?

     Next

Next

Manchester United is struggling to find a place in the Champions League but defender Chris Smalling is optimistic.

United must win their 14 remaining Premier League matches to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, according to Smalling.

The champions remain marooned in seventh place, seven points off fourth-placed Liverpool and England's final spot for Europe's premier club competition, following Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Stoke City.

Their first league loss to Stoke since 1984 was their eighth of the season and came despite United being able to start Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata together for the first time.

The Old Trafford club last missed out on Champions League qualification 19 years ago.


Image: Chris Smalling of Manchester United in action
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

     Next

'We need to stop dropping points'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"Each point that we drop makes it difficult for ourselves," Smalling told the club's website on Monday.

"We can only take the next game as it comes, and other teams will drop points as well, but we need to stop dropping points. We need to put pressure on other teams.

"We've got Fulham and then Arsenal so we've got some big games. We're back at Old Trafford next week and hopefully the fans will get right behind us and that will lead us into the Arsenal game."


Image: David Moyes
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Injury problems

Prev     More
Prev

More

Although the arrival of Mata from Chelsea and the return of Rooney and Van Persie from injury briefly raised spirits at Old Trafford, United still have injury problems, with Rio Ferdinand and Nani among players still sidelined.

They also lost defenders Phil Jones and Jonny Evans during the Stoke match, with the former suffering concussion and the latter a calf problem.

"We don't really talk (about the Champions League) but we all know if anything that's the minimum we need to aim for," Smalling said.

"If we can get on a good run, we've got the players - obviously we lost a couple on Saturday, but we've got a week now until we next play so hopefully we can patch them up and get as many bodies out there as we can."


Image: Manchester United Manager David Moyes speaks to Wayne Rooney
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Prev     More